Amazing weather, amazing whales
Bigg's (Transient) Killer Whales, morning tour, Their exhalation at the surface catching the sunlight. Photo by Captain Yves, photo taken with a zoom lens and heavily cropped.

Morning Tours

Today was perfect weather. The sea was very calm and the breeze was warm! Overall, ideal whale watching conditions.

We departed the Victoria Inner Harbour and headed straight for San Juan Island. There were reports of Killer Whales in the area.

As we approached from the South up Haro Strait we rounded the Northern side of the San Juan Islands and were greeted by multiple blows in all directions.

San Juan Killer Whales
Bigg’s (Transient) Killer Whales were active on the morning zodiac tour, Photo by Captain Marty, image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

The Bigg’s (Transient) Killer Whales were traveling in two groups. After a little bit of activity, spyhops and splashes, the whales joined up as one group. These whales will spyhop to look for each other above water in addition to communicating with vocalizations underwater.

Bigg's (Transient) Killer Whale
Bigg’s (Transient) Killer Whales were active on the morning zodiac tour, Photo by Captain Marty, image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

After watching the Bigg’s Killer Whales for a bit we decided to head back down along San Juan Island. There, further to the South, was another group of Bigg’s (Transient) Killer Whales.

Male Transient Killer Whale
Bigg’s (Transient) Killer Whale, morning tour, Photo by Captain Yves, photo taken with a zoom lens and heavily cropped.

After a morning full of whales we headed back to Victoria Inner Harbour to enjoy the summer sun!

Afternoon tours

The amazing weather continued into the afternoon. It was a welcome relief to get out of the heat into the cooler ocean air.

Humpback Whale
A Humpback Whale on the afternoon tour. Photo by Captain Yves, photo taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

The Killer Whales from the morning had moved out of range so we had some searching to do. After heading East to Trial Island, a report came in of a sighting back by Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. We decided to check out the reported sighting.

Humpback Blow
A Humpback Whale on the afternoon tour. Photo by Captain Yves, photo taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

As we neared the sighting location we started to see blows! We had found a Humpback Whale. When on scene with a whale, our Captains have to think like a whale and match the whale’s speed, in addition to noting the duration of the dives. This information aids us in maintaining a safe viewing distance when the whale surfaces after each of its dives.

Humpback whale tail
A Humpback Whale showing its tail on the afternoon Zodiac tour, Photo by Captain Marty, image taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

After a few dive cycles with the Humpback Whale on the calm, serene ocean, we waved good-bye and headed for Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.

Harry the Sea Otter
Harry the Sea Otter at Race Rocks Ecological Reserve, Afternoon tour, Photo by Captain Yves, taken with zoom lens and heavily cropped.

Race Rocks Ecological Reserve is a home and resting spot for a variety of wildlife, including California Sea Lions, Elephant Seals and more. The highlight today was Harry the Sea Otter, who was doing what Sea Otters do: floating in the kelp.

After such a beautiful day on the water our passengers and crew returned to Victoria, content and ready for a relaxing evening on one of the many outdoor patios in Downtown Victoria.

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